Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccine
June 21, 2021When it comes to COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, the likes of which have never been seen, the rules understandably change every day. And with a vaccine now available, expecting moms may be wondering whether they are eligible to get it. The simple answer is yes. The three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. are available to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Of course, getting the vaccine is a personal choice, so it’s important to know the facts so that you can make an informed decision.
COVID-19 Risk During Pregnancy
Generally, the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is low, but moms-to-be are at a greater risk of severe illness compared to people who are not pregnant. Complications from severe illness could result in preterm birth. Severe illness could lead to hospital admission, mechanical ventilation, or even death.
The Safety and Risk of the Vaccine for Pregnant Women
Because pregnant women were excluded from initial clinical trials, the data has been limited on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for expecting moms. But now, experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe the vaccines do not cause risk because of how they work in the body. Researchers also believe the vaccines are not only safe and effective for pregnant and breastfeeding women but may also offer some protection for your baby.1
How the Vaccines Work
Like other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines train our immune systems to recognize the virus and to be able to fight it off in the future. The different types of vaccines work in different ways, but they all work to offer protection. None of the vaccines currently approved give you COVID-19.2
Side Effects of the Vaccines
Side effects are possible and normal, especially after the second dose if the vaccine you choose requires two doses. It’s a sign that your body is building immunity. But the side effects haven’t been reported to be any different than those experienced by non-pregnant people. Here is what you could expect after getting your shot(s):3
- Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
- Muscle pain
Getting Back to Normal
If you choose to get vaccinated, and once you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you may be one step closer to doing things you enjoyed in pre-pandemic life, including gathering indoors with your family, friends, and loved ones!
Of course, being vaccinated is a personal choice. If you choose not to get the vaccine, it is important to continue to protect yourself by following social distancing and hygiene guidelines to keep you and your developing baby safe during pregnancy.
Remember, COVID-19 is a unique health crisis, and because data and information about the vaccines change frequently, it is important to check with the CDC or your doctor to make sure you have the most accurate and up-to-date guidance.
Prenate® Vitamin Family
This post is brought to you by the Prenate® Vitamin Family, a line of prescription prenatal supplements designed to enhance preconception, prenatal, and postpartum nutrition in women. Talk with your doctor about how taking a daily prescription prenatal or postnatal vitamin could help support a healthy pregnancy and postpartum wellness.